|Formation||1 November 1884 in Thurles, Tipperary, Ireland|
|Purpose||The management and promotion of Gaelic games, and promotion of Irish culture and language|
|Headquarters||Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland|
|Limited full-time staff|
The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA; Irish : Cumann Lúthchleas Gael, [ˈkʊmˠən̪ˠ ˈl̪ˠuh.xlʲæsˠ ɡeːl̪ˠ] (CLG)) is an Irish international amateur sporting and cultural organisation, focused primarily on promoting indigenous Gaelic games and pastimes, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, Gaelic handball and rounders. The association also promotes Irish music and dance, as well as the Irish language.
As of 2014, the organisation had over 500,000 members worldwide,and declared total revenues of €65.6 million in 2017. The Games Administration Committee (GAC) of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) governing bodies organise the fixture list of Gaelic games within a GAA county or provincial councils.
Gaelic football and hurling are the most popular activities promoted by the organisation, and the most popular sports in the Republic of Ireland in terms of attendances. : Comhairle Cluiche Corr na hÉireann).Gaelic football is also the second most popular participation sport in Northern Ireland. The women's version of these games, ladies' Gaelic football and camogie, are organised by the independent but closely linked Ladies' Gaelic Football Association and the Camogie Association of Ireland respectively. GAA Handball is the governing body for the sport of handball, while the other Gaelic sport, rounders, is managed by the GAA Rounders National Council (Irish
Since its foundation in 1884, the association has grown to become a major influence in Irish sporting and cultural life, with considerable reach into communities throughout Ireland and among the Irish diaspora.
On 1 November 1884, a group of Irishmen gathered in the Hayes' Hotel billiard room to formulate a plan and establish an organisation to foster and preserve Ireland's unique games and athletic pastimes. And so, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) was founded. The architects and founding members were Michael Cusack of County Clare, Maurice Davin, Joseph K. Bracken, Thomas St George McCarthy, a District Inspector in the Royal Irish Constabulary, P. J. Ryan of Tipperary, John Wyse Power, and John McKay.Maurice Davin was elected President, Cusack, Wyse-Power and McKay were elected Secretaries and it was agreed that Archbishop Croke, Charles Stewart Parnell and Michael Davitt would be asked to become Patrons.
In 1922 it passed over the job of promoting athletics to the National Athletic and Cycling Association.
The GAA organises a number of competitions at divisional, county, inter-county, provincial, inter-provincial and national (All-Ireland) levels. A number of competitions follow a progressive format in which, for example, the winners of a club county football competition progress to a competition involving the top clubs from each county in the province, with the champions from each province progressing through a series of national finals.
The association has had a long history of promoting Irish culture.Through a division of the association known as Scór (Irish for "score"), the association promotes Irish cultural activities, running competitions in music, singing, dancing and storytelling.
Rule 4 of the GAA's official guide states:
The Association shall actively support the Irish language, traditional Irish dancing, music, song, and other aspects of Irish culture. It shall foster an awareness and love of the national ideals in the people of Ireland, and assist in promoting a community spirit through its clubs.
The group was formally founded in 1969, and is promoted through various Association clubs throughout Ireland (as well as some clubs outside Ireland).
The association has many stadiums scattered throughout Ireland and beyond. Every county, and nearly all clubs, have grounds on which to play their home games, with varying capacities and utilities.
The hierarchical structure of the GAA is applied to the use of grounds. Clubs play at their own grounds for the early rounds of the club championship, while the latter rounds from quarter-finals to finals are usually held at a county ground, i.e. the ground where inter-county games take place or where the county board is based.
The provincial championship finals are usually played at the same venue every year. However, there have been exceptions, such as in Ulster, where in 2004 and 2005 the Ulster Football Finals were played in Croke Park, as the anticipated attendance was likely to far exceed the capacity of the traditional venue of St Tiernach's Park, Clones.
Croke Park is the association's flagship venue and is known colloquially as Croker or Headquarters, since the venue doubles as the association's base. With a capacity of 82,300, it ranks among the top five stadiums in Europe by capacity, having undergone extensive renovations for most of the 1990s and early 21st century. Every September, Croke Park hosts the All-Ireland inter-county Hurling and Football Finals as the conclusion to the summer championships. Croke Park holds the All-Ireland club football and hurling finals. Croke Park is named after Archbishop Thomas Croke, who was elected as a patron of the GAA during the formation of the GAA in 1884.
The next three biggest grounds are all in Munster: Semple Stadium in Thurles, County Tipperary, with a capacity of 53,000, the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick, which holds 50,000, and Páirc Uí Chaoimh, County Cork, which can accommodate 45,000.
Other grounds with capacities above 25,000 include:
Research by former Fermanagh county footballer Niall Cunningham led to the publication in 2016 by his website, gaapitchlocator.net, of a map of 1,748 GAA grounds in Ireland, ranging from 24 grounds in his own county to 171 in Cork.
The association has, since its inception, been closely associated with Irish nationalism,and this has continued to the present, particularly in relation to Northern Ireland, where the sports are played predominantly by members of the mainly Catholic nationalist community, and many in the Protestant unionist population consider themselves excluded by a perceived political ethos. According to one sports historian, the GAA "is arguably the most striking example of politics shaping sport in modern history".
A perception within Northern Ireland unionist circles that the GAA is a nationalist organisationis reinforced by the naming of some GAA grounds, clubs, competitions and trophies after prominent nationalists or republicans.
Other critics point to protectionist rules such as Rule 42 which prohibits competing, chiefly British, sports (referred to by some as "garrison games"or foreign sports) from GAA grounds. As a result, the GAA became a target for loyalist paramilitaries during the Troubles when a number of GAA supporters were killed and clubhouses damaged. As the profile of Gaelic football has been raised in Ulster so too has there been an increase in the number of sectarian attacks on Gaelic clubs in Northern Ireland.
Some of the protectionist rules are as follows:
Rule 42 (Rule 5.1 in the 2009 rulebook)prohibits the use of GAA property for games with interests in conflict with the interests of the GAA referred to by some as "garrison games" or foreign sports. Current rules state that GAA property may only be used for the purpose or in connection with the playing of games controlled by the association. Sports not considered 'in conflict' with the GAA have been permitted.
On 16 April 2005 the GAA's congress voted to temporarily relax Rule 42 and allow international soccer and rugby to be played in the stadium while Lansdowne Road Football Ground was closed for redevelopment.The first soccer and rugby union games permitted in Croke Park took place in early 2007, the first such fixture being Ireland's home match in the Six Nations Rugby Union Championship against France.
In addition to the opening of Croke Park to competing sports, local GAA units have sought to rent their facilities out to other sports organisations for financial reasons in violation of Rule 42.The continued existence of Rule 42 has proven to be controversial since the management of Croke Park has been allowed to earn revenue by renting the facility out to competing sports organisations, but local GAA units which own smaller facilities cannot. It is also said that it is questionable as to whether or not such rental deals would be damaging to the GAA's interests.
The GAA has had some notable rules in the past which have since been abolished. Rule 21, instituted in 1897 when it was suspected that Royal Irish Constabulary spies were trying to infiltrate the organization, prohibited members of the British forces from membership of the GAA.The rule was abolished after an overwhelming majority voted for its removal at a special congress convened in November 2001. Rule 27, sometimes referred to as The Ban, dated from 1901 and banned GAA members from taking part in or watching non Gaelic games. During that time people such as Douglas Hyde, GAA patron and then President of Ireland, was expelled for attending a soccer international. Rule 27 was abolished in 1971.
The association points out the role of members of minority religions in the membership throughout its history. For example, the Protestant Jack Boothman was president of the organisation from 1993 to 1997, while Sam Maguire was a Church of Ireland member. Nonetheless, to address concerns of unionists, the association's Ulster Council has embarked on a number of initiatives aimed at making the association and Gaelic games more accessible to northern Protestants. In November 2008, the council launched a Community Development Unit, which is responsible for "Diversity and Community Outreach initiatives". [ citation needed ]The Cúchulainn Initiative is a cross-community program aimed at establishing teams consisting of Catholic and Protestant schoolchildren with no prior playing experience. Cross-community teams such as the Belfast Cuchulainn under-16 hurling team have been established and gone on to compete at the Continental Youth Championship in the USA. Similar hurling and Gaelic football teams have since emerged in Armagh, Fermanagh, Limavady. David Hassan, from the University of Ulster, has written about the cross community work of the association and other sporting bodies in Ulster, and highlighted the work being done in this field.
The 'Game of three-halves' cross-community coaching initiative was established in predominantly Protestant east Belfast in 2006. Organised through Knock Presbyterian Church, this scheme brings Association coaches to work alongside their soccer and rugby counterparts to involve primary school children at summer coaching camps.The Ulster Council is also establishing cross-community football and hurling teams in schools and is developing links with the Ulster-Scots Agency and the Church of Ireland. The Council has also undertaken a series of meetings with political parties and community groups who would have traditionally have had no involvement in the association.
In January 2011, the then President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, announced the launch of an island-wide project called the "GAA Social Initiative". This aims to address the problem of isolation in rural areas where older people have limited engagement with the community.The initiative was later expanded by teaming up with the Irish Farmers Association to integrate that organisation's volunteers into the initiative.
Members of the Irish diaspora have set-up clubs in a number of regions and countries outside of Ireland, and there are GAA clubs in the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, China, continental Europe, and elsewhere outside of Ireland.
While some units of the association outside Ireland participate in Irish competitions, the association does not hold internationals played according to the rules of either Gaelic football or hurling. Compromise rules have been reached with two "related sports".
Hurlers play an annual fixture against a national shinty team from Scotland.
International Rules Football matches have taken place between an Irish national team drawn from the ranks of Gaelic footballers, against an Australian national team drawn from the Australian Football League. The venue alternates between Ireland and Australia. In December 2006, the International series between Australia and Ireland was called off due to excessive violence in the matches,but resumed in October 2008 when Ireland won a two test series in Australia. The Irish welcomed the All Australian team at the headquarters of the GAA (Croke Park) on 21 November 2015. It was single one-off test match, which led the Irish to reclaim the Cormac McAnallen Cup by a score of 56–52.
The international dimension of Gaelic handball includes a World Championship tournament,alongside a European Tour and US Semi-Professional Tour. The 4-Wall and 1-Wall codes of the game are played around the world [with slightly different rules depending on which country one is playing in] and the World Handball Championships are organised by the World Handball Council. A European Tour has been set up with players from across Europe participating. 4-Wall Handball is played primarily in Ireland, the USA and Canada whilst the 1-Wall code is played (in addition to the three mentioned) in Belgium, France, Holland, Italy, Spain and the UK.
To address concerns about player burnout, the association adopted a rule in 2007 that prohibited collective training for inter-county players for a period of two months every winter.This has proven to be controversial in that it is difficult to enforce, and in the drive to stay competitive, managers have found ways to avoid it, such as organising informal 'athletic clubs' and other activities that they can use to work on the physical fitness of players without overtly appearing to be training specifically at Gaelic games.
Gaelic football, commonly referred to as football or Gaelic, is an Irish team sport. It is played between two teams of 15 players on a rectangular grass pitch. The objective of the sport is to score by kicking or punching the ball into the other team's goals or between two upright posts above the goals and over a crossbar 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) above the ground.
Croke Park is a Gaelic games stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Named after Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is sometimes called Croker by GAA fans and locals. It serves as both the principal national stadium of Ireland and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Since 1891 the site has been used by the GAA to host Gaelic sports, including the annual All-Ireland in Gaelic football and hurling.
The GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, known simply as the All-Ireland Championship, is an annual inter-county hurling competition organised by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). It is the highest inter-county hurling competition in Ireland, and has been contested every year except one since 1887.
Gaelic games are sports played in Ireland under the auspices of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). They include Gaelic football, hurling, Gaelic handball and rounders. Women's versions of hurling and football are also played: camogie, organised by the Camogie Association of Ireland, and ladies' Gaelic football, organised by the Ladies' Gaelic Football Association. While women's versions are not organised by the GAA, they are closely associated with it.
Sport in Ireland plays an important role in Irish society. The many sports played and followed in Ireland include Gaelic games, association football, horse racing, show jumping, greyhound racing, basketball, fishing, handball, motorsport, boxing, tennis, hockey, golf, rowing, cricket, and rugby union.
LIT Gaelic Grounds or LIT Páirc na nGael is the principal GAA stadium in the Irish city of Limerick, home to the Limerick hurling and football teams. It has a capacity of 44,023.
Casement Park is the principal Gaelic games stadium in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and serves as the home ground of the Antrim football and hurling teams. It is located in Andersonstown Road in the west of the city, and named after the republican revolutionary Sir Roger Casement (1864-1916). As of 2015 it had an official capacity of 32,282, with safety certification for 31,661, including 6,962 seated. It is currently closed and in a state of dereliction, with redevelopment plans pending now for several years.
The Derry County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) or Derry GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland. It is responsible for Gaelic games in County Londonderry in Northern Ireland. The county board is also responsible for the Derry county teams.
The Donegal County Board or Donegal GAA is one of 32 county boards of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in Ireland, and is responsible for the administration of Gaelic games in County Donegal.
The Athletic Grounds is a GAA stadium in Armagh, Northern Ireland. It is the county ground and administrative headquarters of Armagh GAA and is used for both Gaelic football and hurling.
The Ulster Council is a provincial council of the Gaelic Athletic Association sports of hurling, Gaelic football, camogie, and handball in the province of Ulster. The headquarters of the Ulster GAA is based in Armagh City.
The history of the Gaelic Athletic Association is much shorter than the history of Gaelic games themselves. Hurling and caid were recorded in early Irish history and they pre-date recorded history. The Gaelic Athletic Association itself was founded in 1884.
Garda GAA is a Gaelic Athletic Association club based in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, founded in 1922. They are the GAA representative team of the Garda Síochána. Garda have won the Dublin Senior Football Championship on six occasions in 1927, 1929, 1933, 1934, 1935 and 1948. Garda won the Dublin Intermediate Football Championship on one occasion in 1986, bringing them back to senior status. Garda have also had success as a hurling side, having also won the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship on six occasions in 1931, 1929, 1928, 1927, 1926 and 1925. Westmanstown Gaels is the juvenile division of the club and was set up in 2005.
The following is an alphabetical list of terms and jargon used in relation to Gaelic games. See also list of Irish county nicknames
All Saints Gaelic Athletic Club is the only Gaelic Athletic Association club in the town of Ballymena, County Antrim. The club is a member of the South-West Antrim division of Antrim GAA, and competes in Gaelic football, hurling, Ladies Gaelic football and camogie.
Rule 42 is a rule of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) which in practice prohibits the playing of non-Gaelic games in GAA stadiums. The rule is often mistakenly believed to prohibit foreign sports at GAA owned stadiums. However, non-Gaelic games such as boxing and American football did take place in Croke Park before Rule 42 was modified.
GAA Handball Ireland is the governing body for the sport of Gaelic handball in all of its codes in Ireland. Handball is one of the four Gaelic games organised by the Gaelic Athletic Association.
The 1994–95 National Football League, known for sponsorship reasons as the Church & General National Football League, was the 64th staging of the National Football League (NFL), an annual Gaelic football tournament for the Gaelic Athletic Association county teams of Ireland.
Police Service of Northern Ireland GAA, also known as PSNI GAA, is a Gaelic Games club based in Northern Ireland. The club was set up in 2002 for members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, with the intent to allow serving police officers to play Gaelic games following the abolition of Rule 21, which had prohibited them from doing so. They are based at Newforge Lane in Belfast alongside other teams affiliated with the RUC Athletic Association. They are affiliated with Antrim GAA and play in their Inter-Firms League. On 18 October 2019 they capped off their most successful year with a win of the Tom langan trophy for the first time in their history.
Over 500,000 people were registered on the [membership] system in 2014
The GAA has developed abroad amongst the Irish Diaspora [..] and club units are now well established in the United States of America, Australia, Britain, Canada, China, mainland Europe and many other parts of the world